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Local HS Football Semifinals Preview

Sports

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Three state semifinals will match Dallas area schools against one another. Below are previews of the matchups:

6A Division I: Duncanville (13-0) vs. Prosper (13-1)

When: Saturday, December 10, at 4 p.m.

Where: SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium

Duncanville is in the state semifinals for the fifth consecutive season, going 3-1 in its previous four semifinals. But Duncanville has not won a state title since 1998 after losing to Galena Park North Shore in the Class 6A Division I state championship games in 2018, 2019, and 2021.

A rematch with North Shore could await Duncanville, as the other semifinal in this classification is between North Shore (14-0) and Austin Westlake (14-0), which has won three consecutive state titles (two in Division II and one in Division I).

Among the four teams in the semifinal in this classification, Prosper stands out as the only non-traditional powerhouse. Prosper is in its first state semifinal since 2008 after losing in the quarterfinals each of the past three years.

Prosper won its only state title in Class 3A Division I in the 2008 season.

Duncanville four-star junior running back Caden Durham will lead his team against a Prosper defense that ranks 11th among area teams in run defense, allowing an average of 127.6 yards on the ground.

Durham has run for 1,652 yards and 30 touchdowns this season, including 240 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s 28-21 quarterfinal win over Spring Westfield.

Senior quarterback Harrison Rosar has thrown for 3,276 yards for Prosper, and his 43 touchdown passes are second-most among area 6A quarterbacks. He will be facing a Duncanville defense that has allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game (101.2) among area 6A teams.

6A Division II: Denton Guyer (14-0) vs. DeSoto (12-2)

When: Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m.

Where: Frisco’s Ford Center

Denton Guyer has the chance to join the elite company of North Shore, Duncanville, Austin Westlake, Allen, Katy, and Cedar Hill as the only teams to play in three 6A state championship games over a four-year span since 2010.

Guyer lost the state title game to Westlake in 2019 and 2021 and has not won a state title since its 4A Division I championship in 2013.

Guyer’s offense has reached a new level in the postseason, averaging 52.3 points in four games led by five-star senior quarterback Jackson Arnold, an Oklahoma commit.

Arnold has totaled 449 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing in the postseason and added 918 passing yards and six touchdowns.

Defensively for Guyer, five-star senior safety Peyton Bowen, a Notre Dame commit, is as dangerous of a player as there is in Texas. In the last two seasons, he has had eight kick/punt return touchdowns, three interception returns for touchdowns, and three receiving touchdowns.

DeSoto features a pair of Texas commits on its offense in four-star senior receiver Johntay Cook II (1,310 receiving yards, 21 touchdowns) and four-star senior running back Tre Wisner (642 yards, nine total touchdowns).

DeSoto will need its high-powered offense (averaging 43.4 points and 454.1 yards per game) to get going early against a Guyer defense that allows just 291.7 offensive yards per game.

With a win, DeSoto would advance to its first state title game since its 6A Division II championship-winning season in 2016.

The other semifinal in this classification pits Katy (14-0) against Austin Vandegrift (13-1).

5A Division II: South Oak Cliff (11-3) vs. Argyle (14-0)

When: Friday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Fort Worth’s Crowley ISD Stadium

South Oak Cliff made history last season as the first Dallas ISD school to win a state championship since 1958. It can become the first Dallas ISD school to win back-to-back state titles with wins in its next two games.

SOC and Argyle both lean on powerful run games for most of their offensive production. Argyle averages 346 of its 393 total yards per game on the ground, while 235 of SOC’s 362 yards per game come on the ground.

Each team has two 1,000-yard rushers this season. Argyle boasts two of the area’s top 5A runners in RJ Bunnell (1,548 yards and 19 touchdowns) and Landon Farris (1,111 and 15 touchdowns), while Tedrick Williams (1,006 yards and nine touchdowns) and Danny Green (1,005 yards and 17 touchdowns) have carried SOC’s offense.

Both teams also excel on the defensive side of the ball.

SOC’s defense allows 232 yards per game, 99 rushing yards, and 15 points. A pair of Texas commits highlight the SOC defense in cornerback Malik Muhammad and defensive lineman Billy Walton, while Texas A&M commit cornerback Jayvon Thomas is another standout on the unit.

Argyle’s defense is strong against the run, allowing just 101 rushing yards and 16 points per game, fifth best among Dallas-area teams in its classification. Nebraska’s four-star commitment Riley Van Poppel is a dominant force on Argyle’s defensive line.

Argyle is in its first season in 5A. However, its record in state semifinal games in 4A was pretty good.

Its last two appearances in the 4A semifinals came in 2020 and 2016, when it went on to win the state title in both seasons.

The other semifinal in this classification pits Port Neches-Groves (12-2) against last year’s loser to SOC in the 5A Division II championship, Liberty Hill (13-1).

To see the brackets for every classification, visit UILTexas.org.

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